Guest column: United in mind, body and spirit |

Guest column: United in mind, body and spirit

Ricky Rodriguez
Owner, Native Son

Recent lessons have helped remind me that our spirits are strong but yet fragile. The human connection with others is essential.

We should be able to listen to one another without attacking differences in opinion and backgrounds. In a small town, we all know each other, yet we may not fully understand the struggles that others are experiencing. We don’t know what other people are going through because they may not be willing to share their battles or what their financial situation is. But there is overwhelming evidence that the pandemic is affecting the mental health of our local community and the entire nation. There are many things we can’t control, but we can control how we treat each other.

Using all our senses, our mind, our body, and our spirit to address the current situation will result in a broader community perspective. It will allow for a more diverse understanding, which includes the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of everyone around us. This is not about looking for an outside source to solve problems, but rather looking internally for ways to bring us together – not apart. How can we find ways collectively to increase joy? Do you know that you get positive endorphins from a human connection that can result in increased happiness? Many have lost joy in their lives due to losing a job, changes within the job, or losing access to the establishment where they make human connections.

Bars, restaurants, and hospitality got hit the hardest with the pandemic. Those in a position of authority that have not been affected financially are implementing rules imposed on the hospitality businesses without regard to their financial, mental, and emotional health. Many business owners had to make tough decisions to survive the last number of months. I want to raise awareness around those that lost their way of living, lost their community, and lost their daily dose of happiness by not being together.

Being healthy means more than staying 6 feet apart and wearing a mask; it means taking care of your body, eating healthy food, not drinking too much, and moving in a variety of ways every single day. We need to make our bodies stronger to fight disease, and we need to make our spirits stronger, so we have the capacity to treat each other better. We can’t let technology and social media creep into our emotional realm. We’ve all learned a lot about ourselves during this time; now it is time to keep our minds open, be kind, help each other while connecting and encourage healthy behavior.

Ricky Rodriguez is owner of Native Son, a restaurant in Glenwood Springs.


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